Schedule | Problem Sets | Laboratories | PLC | Examples | Carlos | Physics | Cabrillo

Physics 2A: General Physics I
Fall 2017 Course Syllabus

Instructor Information
Name: Carlos E. Figueroa
Office Hours: see website
Office Location: 813
Phone: 831.479.6520 & 768.7971 (home)

Course Information
Title: College Physics: A Strategic Approach
Sections: 99135, 99136
Prerequistes: MATH 4, or MATH 2 and MATH 3 or equivalent knowledge
Meetings: Lecture (Rm 804), 8:00 - 9:20 pm, TTh; Labs (Rm 802), 9.30-10.50 am or 11:10-12:30pm, TTh; PLC (Rm 834), TBA

Textbook: College Physics: A Strategic Approach (all editions are accepted), Knight, Jones & Field
Laboratory Manual: Posted online at

Learner Outcomes
1. Analyze and solve problems using the concepts, equations and methods of physics in both independent and collaborative settings.
2. Investigate physical phenomena experimentally using appropriate equipment and methods, and make valid comparisons with theoretical predictions.
3. Clearly communicate results of scientific inquiries in both oral and written form.

Grading Polcy

The course grade is based on the following weighted percentages:

Problem Sets 12.5%
PLC Activities 10%
Lab Reports 15%
Quizzes 10%
Exam1 & 2 35%
Final Exam 17.5%

Problem Sets, Quizzes, Exams & PLC Activities
Problem Sets
: Problem sets must follow the required format . Problem sets are due as listed on the problem set webpage and must be turned in at the beginning of lecture (12:40 pm) on the assigned due date. Full credit is given for work that is (i) complete, (ii) correct, and (iii) clearly presented. I encourage you to work on problems in groups--but you must write up your own solutions individually.

Quizzes are designed to check your understanding of a single topic/problem set. They are taken after the problem set has been collected. Quizzes are closed book and closed notes, except for a predetermined set of equations from the instructor.

Exams & Final Exam: There will be two exams and a comprehensive final exam. Each exam will cover material from the lectures, problem sets and quizzes. Exams are closed book, but you will be provided with an “Equation Sheet” for each exam. A written excuse or prior notification must be provided if an exam is missed.

TBA (To Be Arranged) Hours or PLC Activities: The drop-in PLC (Physics/Engr Learning Community, Room 834) will be open every weekday, with PLC tutors who can help you work on your required PLC activities. Phys 2A requires 50 minutes per week of arranged hours to be fulfilled in Room 834. It is the students' responsibility to record their attendance by signing in each time they attend the PLC. The instructor will collect these hours periodically. These hours are required, tracked, and the assignments graded. Arranged hours are class time and all students are expected to meet this number of hours per week to fulfill the requirements of this course. The PLC policies and procedures are

1. TBA hours (i.e. PLC assignments) must be worked on cooperatively in small groups of 2 – 4 students.
2. PLC exercises and experiments must be completed and signed off during the times that an instructor or tutor is available.
3. Students must fill-out a self-check sheet by the end of the semester.

All PLC activities are posted online at The weekly schedule of topics for TBA assignments is listed below.

Due Dates PLC Activities
PLC 1: Significant Figures
PLC 2: One-dimensional Motion Applets
PLC 3: Freefall Motion
PLC 4: Projectile Motion Applets
PLC 5: Newton's 2nd Law & Equilibrium
PLC 6: Practice Exam Problems 1.1
PLC 7: Impulse & Momentum
PLC 8: Work & Energy
PLC 9: Designing the Unknow Mass Experiment
PLC 10: Ideal Gas Law
PLC 11: Practice Exam Problems 2.1
PLC 12: Harmoic Oscillator
PLC 13: Standing Waves
12.08.17 PLC 14: Practice Final Exam Problems 1.1

Laboratories: Active participation and attendance in lab is mandatory. Weekly lab reports aredue each week on Tuesday at the beginning of lecture (8:00 am) that includes the experimental procedures, data organized into tables or graphs, calculations/results and an interpretation and discussion of the experiment.

Students with Disabilities:
Students needing accommodations should inform the instructor. As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to insure equalaccess for students with verified disabilities. To determine if you qualify or need assistance with an accommodation, please contact ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT CENTER (Formerly DSPS), Room 1073, (831)479-6379.

Supplemental Insturction (SI)
SI study seesions are offered for this course. SI sessions meet two to three time a week, throught the semester. SI is an academic assistance program which provides peer-led group study seesions to assistent students in traditionally difficult courses.
SI sessions are led by a SI leader who has already mastered the course material and has been trained to facilitate group sessions where students can meet to improve their understanding of course material, review and discuss important concepts, develop study strategies and prepare for exams.  SI is for everyone, and open to all students enrolled in this class; not just those students who are struggling. Attendance at SI sessions is free and voluntary. Students, who attend SI sessions weekly, typically earn higher final course and exam grades than students who do not participate in SI. Please bring your lecture notes, books, and questions with you.